you lucky dog

My family had a dog named Sandy when I was very little, but she died when I was six so I don't remember very much about her.  After that, my brother and I made half-hearted requests for a new dog every now and then, but the requests never resulted in a new puppy because did I mention half-hearted?

And then Emily came along.


When Emily was in first grade, my mom sewed felt patches all over a white sweatsuit for Halloween, but Em wore that puppy costume long after October 31st.

And then Emily took things to a whole new level when she started barking and crawling on all fours to the door when the doorbell rang.

And in February 2003, we got Rosie.

There was some family discord about what to name our new puppy, but when we found out that she was born on December 27th, Emily's birthday, we all agreed that we had to name her Rosie, after Em's middle name, Rose.

Rosie was an English Springer Spaniel, and we quickly learned they weren't kidding about the "spring" part.  A few weeks after we got her, my dad made himself a big, juicy sandwich for lunch, put it on the table, and went out to get a soda from the garage fridge.  When he came back inside, the sandwich was gone, and Rosie had crumbs on her mouth.  Let's just say Dad was less than thrilled with her display of agility and speed eating.

My brother and I were talking about The Notorious Sandwich Incident of 2003 this weekend.  We both thought that after Rosie's brazen act she wouldn't make it 13 more days in our house, let alone 13 more years.

But she defied the odds.

That's not to say she stopped eating forbidden treats.

There was the time she ate 30 lollipops intended to be Emily's class Valentines.  She gave herself away because she emerged from her candy binge with lollipop wrappers stuck in her long, floppy ears.

One time she ate a platter of gourmet chocolate covered pretzels my mom got from her students.

And when she was definitely old enough to know better, she ate the two layer heart shaped cake I made for my parents' 25th anniversary.  I came home from work on my lunch hour to ice the cake, and it was gone.

Just this past October, my mom and I returned from an afternoon of shopping, and Rosie was standing in the hallway surrounded by empty Halloween candy wrappers.

They say chocolate isn't good for dogs, but it never bothered Rosie.

Rose loved to be outside and in the water.  She went with us on vacations to the lake and for hikes in the woods.  She loved to be in the backyard, drinking from the pond and chasing squirrels and laying in the sunshine.

But mostly, she loved to be with her people.

She usually laid in the middle of the hallway, where she could see the kitchen and the family room, and keep an eye on the front door.

At night she'd drag her bed out to the family room to be with everyone.  She'd get all settled in and fall asleep, but when she heard the television click off, she'd jump right up and trot into her crate for bed.  

You could always count on Rosie to hear the garage and be waiting for you at the door when you came inside.

And if she was outside alone for too long, she'd come looking for a friend.

She wasn't allowed upstairs, but when someone went up, she'd wait patiently on the landing for them to come back down.

She was a dog, but for thirteen years, she was part of our family.

And she was Emily's best friend.

I don't think any of us appreciated Rosie's loyalty and unconditional love more than Emily did.

Over the last two weeks, Rosie's health declined.  On Friday, my parents knew it was time.  I went over to see her one last time after work, and I sat down next to her on the floor.  She was weak and tired, but she picked her head up and put it on my knee.  Up until the very end, she really loved her people.

And her people are really going to miss her.


Rebecca Jo said…
Oh gosh... I totally cant handle the loss of fur babies that are so loyal to their families....
Good job on being a friend Rosie...
I'm so sorry for the family's loss
Baby Sister said…
When I started reading, I thought "Oh, this is going to be a good, fun story, I'm sure of it." But then I kept reading and this sense of dread came over me. By the end of your post I was crying. I'm so sorry you are going through this hard time. It's so hard to loose your best friend.
Rosie sounds like such a fun dog. I'm so sorry for your family's loss :-(
Emily said…
Oh, I am SO sorry to hear this :( I love this post. It completely captured the essence of Rosie and sounds perfect.
Amy said…
What a beautiful puppy and tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss, Laura.
I'm so sorry for your loss. What a sweet and mischievous girl she was! I know that she will be dearly missed. And that picture of her sitting on the landing waiting just about killed me.
K said…
I'm so sorry to hear about Rosie! It's always so hard to lose one of our furry friends. They just love you so unconditionally, and even the crazy things that they do, you still can't do anything but love them with all of your heart. She was so lucky to have such a wonderful family like you, and you were so lucky to have her.
I'm so sorry for your loss. :( She sounds like quite the character and I love that you have those funny memories to look back on.
Emily said…
So sorry to hear of her passing and sorry for the loss. Losing a beloved furry family member is never easy.
Emily said…
Sorry for your family's loss! It's never easy to lose a fur baby and loyal friend that's been in the family so long! My first dog in childhood was named Rosie too but the funny thing it was a male dog...long story but it wasn't our choice for the name. Lol
I am typing my comment through tears. I know the heartache that is unique to the loss of a pet ... a pet that worked its way into being its own unique member of the family. Hugs!
Courtney B said…
This is the sweetest post!! And totally brought tears to my eyes as one of my parents dogs passed away last week. Losing a pet is SO hard!! Thinking of you, my friend!! xoxo
BLovedBoston said…
Oh my gosh - I'm so sorry for your family's loss...reading this post made me tear up for you guys. Thinking of you!
What a lovely tribute to sweet Rosie. I loved seeing her photos and hearing about her life . . . dogs really do make things better.

It made me tear up because this is looming in my future. I've had my sweet Boston Terrier Petey for 16 years and his health is declining for sure. I don't want to make the decision so I pray to come home and find him peacefully gone . . . but he fights to hard for that. Anyway, this just touched my heart and I thought you should know. Have a wonderful day!
Oh, I am so sorry! This post nearly brought me to tears. As a dog mom I know just how attached you get can to a pet. They truly become part of your family. Rosie was a beautiful dog. Sending hugs your way.

Sara McCarty said…
Oh my, I'm so sorry to hear this. What a lucky dog she was to have you all and what a lucky family you were to have her in your life. She sounds amazing and ornery and adorable and so incredibly loved. Beautiful pup, beautiful tribute.
she sounds like an absolutely amazing dog and family member. i am so sorry for your loss. this is a beautiful post about a beautiful dog :)
Brittany said…
This tribute melts my heart. There's nothing quite like a family dog. I'm so sorry for your loss.
MilitaryPugWife said…
Omg! I can't stand when puppies pass away. It's such a cruel part of being human. They love us so much. Our pugs are our lives. So sorry for your loss girl!! Xxoo
Michelle said…
This is the second post about a dying dog I've read in the past two days! I am so sorry. I've been there too and it's just awful.
Liz Jo said…
I absolutely loved this story about Rosie! The sandwich eating is hilarious! I would do the same thing though, can't help it, don't leave sandwiches laying around if you don't want them to be eaten. Also the pictures of her are great, I love seeing her in all aspects of the life she lived. I knew that you were going to say she died the moment I started reading this post. I'm crying, the loss of a pet is such a great loss, and one that is keenly felt by the people who knew that pet so well. You were great people, and she was a great dog. I'm so sorry for your loss, Laura.

liz @ j for joiner
Traci said…
I'm so sorry. She was beautiful!
AiringMyLaundry said…
Oh no, I'm sorry. She sounds like she was wonderful.
Ever Emma said…
What a sweet tribute!
Anonymous said…
I'm so sorry! We also had a doggy named Rosie, who had MANY of the personality traits and habits you mentioned about your Rosie. She too, for instance, wasn't allowed upstairs, and to the very end loved her people with all her heart. We also lost our girl recently. :( I'm so sorry for your loss.